Statement by the General Confederation of Trade Unions
in connection with the World Day for Decent Work
7 October 2009

On the 7th of October, 2009, the worlds trade unions will for the second time mark the World Day for Decent Work.

Last years experience showed that the idea of holding such a Day initiated by the International Trade Union Confederation had won a broad support among the world trade union movement. All over the planet, union members, together with non-organised workers, took to the streets to participate in rallies and demonstrations, or in any other way joined the demand for poverty, inequality and oppression to be abolished across the world.

In most CIS countries, different events were organised in support of decent work and social justice, the ILO Decent Work Agenda, and international labour standards. The importance of the decent work principles was once again highlighted at the 98th Session of the International Labour Conference held last June in Geneva. They form the basis for the Global Jobs Pact approved by the Session.

Today, with the world financial and economic crisis in full swing, the role of the decent work concept is crucial as never before. Trade unions believe that the way out of the current deep recession in the world economy could only be found through the implementation of this concept. The international trade union movement insists that the policy of economic recovery should build around the basic goals of decent work, i.e. quality jobs for all workers, fair pay and reliable social protection, with the observance of the universally accepted principles of social dialogue and respect for trade union freedoms and human rights. The post-crisis model of the global economy must put the concerns of working people first.

In the context of crisis, the majority of CIS states, like most countries of the world, suffer from curtailed production, growing unemployment, and falling living standards of workers and the bulk of the population. Under the pretext of anti-crisis measures, attempts are often made to cut down workers earnings and social benefits, worsen their work environment, and restrict the rights of trade union organisations and their abilities to win a real economic stabilisation and better conditions for workers.

The General Confederation of Trade Unions (GCTU) strongly insists that concrete measures for combating the crisis should be implemented in the CIS countries, based on the principles of decent work and in the spirit of social dialogue and coordination of efforts by all public forces in this direction. This position was specified in Declaration on the Economic and Social Situation in the CIS States and Actions by Trade Unions in the Context of the World Financial and Economic Crisis adopted by the GCTU Executive Committee in April 2009.

The GCTU urged its member-organisations to counteract the negative impact of the crisis on the situation of workers, and, in doing so, strengthen international trade union solidarity, and give more energetic support to the anti-crisis initiatives, demands and actions by the international trade union community, and its struggle against curtailment of wage workers social and economic interests, against encroachment on the rights of trade unions and workers.

We call on our affiliated organisations to support the decent work policies of the GCTU and the international trade union movement in general by organising, on the 7th of October 2009, all kinds of solidarity actions and other public activities in support of decent work in a global crisis.

Let us mark the second World Day for Decent Work under the slogan Decent Work, a Safe Way of Overcoming the Economic Crisis!

General Confederation of Trade Unions

Moscow, 4 September 2009